Highlights from The World Health Assembly

As the World Health Assembly wraps up, Negin Jananti sends this update from Geneva:

Committee B considered six nominations for the appointment of the External auditor: France, Germany, Ghana, Malaysia, Philippines, and Spain. Each nominee presented and the company from the Philippines was selected after two rounds of voting.
Preparing for Pandemic Viruses Following four years of negotiation, Committee A agreed on a framework for “pandemic influenza preparedness,” to share information and access to influenza viruses to allow all Member States to prepare by developing vaccines as quickly as possible. Member States welcomed the plan.

HIV Strategy The Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV, 2011-2015 was approved today, to guide WHO and Member States to boost innovation, integration and efficiency of HIV programmes. Through the Strategy, WHO Member States and partners can save at least 2 million lives and prevent 4.2 million new HIV infections in the next four years.

Promoting Women and Children’s Health; “We need to know what money people have promised and if they are producing results in improving health for women and children,” Dr. Chan stated at the briefing attended by hundreds. The Panel, led by the UN Commission for Information and Accountability, presented a clear outline, complete with target dates, on necessities for success. Items included consistent and accurate data, regular program monitoring, and instant action on weaknesses. Norway pledged USD 9.5 million to back these plans in developing countries, but Dr. Chan stressed that “domestic investment is the most important thing in development.”

Awards Ceremony; Dr. Chan and World Health Assembly Christos Patsalides awarded six prizes to leaders in public health. Prize recipients ranged from professors, to non-profit directors from around the world.